CAR OF 1998 FORD FO­CUS

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - TRADE DIRECTORY -

It’s hard to over­state the im­pact the Ford Fo­cus had on the new car mar­ket. Prior to its in­tro­duc­tion, small fam­ily cars were de­signed to be cheap to build, with con­sid­er­a­tions such as re­fine­ment, per­for­mance and han­dling some­what down the list. Ford had fol­lowed that mantra, re­leas­ing the Es­cort MkV to wide­spread de­ri­sion. The new Fo­cus was a rev­e­la­tion – it han­dled with the aplomb of a sports car, thanks to its mul­tilink rear sus­pen­sion – un­heard of in the small car sec­tor. It was also re­fined and its wide range of en­gines gave it plenty of pep.

Its fresh de­sign lan­guage was di­vi­sive at the time, but it was a smash hit and dom­i­nated the sec­tor. It had a huge im­pact on other man­u­fac­tur­ers – all cars, what­ever the price point, now had to drive much bet­ter. For a prime ex­am­ple, just look at the big dif­fer­ence be­tween a VW Golf MkIV and MkV.

I’ve owned two 1.6 Fo­cuses and their sheer chuck­a­bil­ity makes them ad­dic­tive. They’re re­li­able, cheap and great to drive. It won’t be long un­til they are re­garded as true clas­sics. De­servedly so.

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